By Rob Ranieri
The Podcast Academy has just unveiled 164 Nominees for the first ever Ambies Awards (The Awards For Excellence in Audio), spanning 23 categories. What can these selections tell us about trends and talent in the industry?
In a sign of how expansive the podcast industry has become in recent years, the Podcast Academy received more than 1,000 submissions from 358 different companies or individuals.
The shortlist features a wide range of genres, formats and styles, reflecting the variety alive in the industry. Two-thirds of the nominees have either a female, Black, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern or LGBTQ+ host or hosts. The variety of voices is refreshing. Diversity and inclusion equals innovation.
2. Sex, politics and horror sell
The podcasts that scored the most Ambies nominations — with four each — were “Dirty Diana,” a scripted erotica series starring Demi Moore, a sci-fi/horror series “The Left Right Game” and “Wind of Change,” an offbeat exploration of propaganda hidden in pop music.
Three very different podcasts - what they have in common is that they are immersive, compelling stories, expertly told.
3. Podcast creation comes in all forms
The nominated series’ origins range from leading networks such as Wondery and Spotify to independent and/or nonprofit media entities. “Borne the Battle” is from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “DEM TIMES” from a U.K.-based media production company, and “Adult ISH” is from YR Media, a network of young journalists and artists. It is exciting to see passionate podcasts emerging from vastly different organisations, giving voices to areas of society that are not always heard.
4. The crew are recognised
While the hosts and guests are usually front in line when it comes to accolades, The Ambies also celebrate the technical and founder members of podcasts, with awards for Best Scriptwriting (fiction and nonfiction), Best Production & Sound Design and Best Original Score & Music Supervision. Through shining light on the technicians responsible for creating best practice, the whole team behind podcasts are recognised and celebrated, which can only be a positive thing for the industry.
You can view all nominees here. We can’t wait to tune in on May 16.